HMRC issues more fines over AML failings

The value of fines issued to companies over anti-money laundering (AML) compliance failures rocketed 91 per cent last year, figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) revealed.

The revenue hit firms with charges of £2.3m in 2017/18, up from £1.2m in 2016/17, as the body attempts to crackdown on the processing of illegal funds.

Furthermore, the average size of the fines has also risen, increasing from £1,310 to £3,450, which consultancy firm FSCom dubbed as “crippling” for many early-stage businesses.

According to FSCom managing director Jamie Cook, “cracking down” on AML is at the top of the government’s agenda and, as a result, HMRC has responded by increasing the value of fines it hits businesses with. Cook added that money service businesses are more susceptible to receiving the fines, due to them dealing with a high volume of transactions, while also remitting payments globally.

“Although the average size of these fines may seem small, they can be crippling for early-stage fintech businesses that have limited cash reserves,” he concluded.

A freedom of information request from March found that HMRC had launched its first criminal investigations under a new measure to combat money laundering.

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